World Top Ten Re-Set (Part 1)

    Let’s take a look at the Official World Golf Rankings with the year’s first major now in the rearview mirror and offer a brief capsule on how each player performed at Augusta National. The big change post-Masters is Danny Willett entered the top ten at #9, bumping Patrick Reed out of the upper echelon. Here is a closer look at numbers one through five.

    1. Jason Day: Day is now 8 weeks into his second positon at the top of the perch. Day played okay at Augusta but was never able to get on the kind of roll golf fans know he can go on. Day finished in a tie for 10th place after rounds of 72, 73, 71 and 73. The most disappointing round for Day was Sunday. On a day when the conditions were finally conducive to low scores, Day struggled in his one over par round. Day looked to rebound at last week’s RBC Heritage Classic in Hilton Head. He was tied for the lead after two rounds, but a third round 79 dropped him from serious contention. He finished in a tie for 23rd place. While not long, Hilton Head has a way of jumping up and striking even the best players.

    2. Jordan Spieth: Spieth’s performance has already been covered here extensively. Suffice to say, despite the magnificent spotlight shining on his back nine collapse, Spieth should focus on the positive takeaways. His chipping and putting, already considered the best in the world, were on full display at Augusta. He will work out the swing-flaw that created a case of the push-slices that plagued him all week.

    3. Rory McIlroy: Frustration had to be the buzzword for McIlroy as he left Georgia on Sunday evening. He struggled mightily with his putter and reinforced the concern that was voiced about installing a left-hand low putting style just a month and a half before a tournament known for its slick, difficult greens. McIlroy’s ball-striking allowed him to overcome a balky putter for much of the tournament, except in round three. McIlroy shot rounds of 70, 71, 77 and 71. The fact that his third round 77 came in the final pairing and head to head against Spieth is likely a cause for concern with Rory and his backers.

    4. Bubba Watson: Watson has two wins at Augusta National. With his length and short game, you’d figure he would be in contention here almost every year. That’s simply not the case. Watson has struggled mightily in the year’s he hasn’t won and this year was no different. Watson made the cut on the number and finished tied for 37th after rounds of 75, 75, 76 and 71.

    5. Rickie Fowler: Massively disappointing Masters for Fowler – there’s really no other way to put it. Fowler started the tournament off with a double bogey, but he righted the ships by making three birdies in the next five holes. But then, inexplicably, the wheels came off again. A triple bogey on the par-five 13th hole in day one helped contribute to an opening round of 80 that ensured a missed cut.